2017 09 Affiche EN FINALAfter the two World Wars and the failure of its policy of neutrality, Belgium was one of the pioneering states in the development of the post-war security architecture, based on multilateralism, in which the UN, NATO, and the EU play a prominent part.

With their strategic vision for Defence (“vision stratégique pour la Défense”), published in June 2016, Belgian authorities affirm that NATO and the EU are the essential pillars of the Belgian security and defence policy. In March of this year, the twenty-seven EU Heads of State and Government also deemed it necessary to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Rome by adopting a “Declaration”, which advocates European unity and affirms the commitment of the twenty-seven member states to extending their cooperation in various fields by 2027, e.g. defence or internal security. Recent events such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump create indeed an anxiety-inducing environment that is further aggravated by the issue of refugees, the eruption of Islamist terrorism, and the consequences of the Ukrainian crisis.

We are pleased to welcome Étienne Davignon and Herman Van Rompuy, who were and still are the privileged witnesses and actors as to Belgium’s role within international organisations. Which were and can now be the advantages offered by a “small” country such as Belgium in international organisations? How should we view the EU, NATO, and the UN nowadays? Are these organisations fulfilling their founders’ ambitions, particularly in the field of security issues? Has Belgium the ability to make its voice heard on the issue of the European defence? What should we think of the recent “Rome Declaration”, especially the policy promoted in the field of security and cooperation with NATO and the UN? Should we support a “multi-speed” Europe? These are some of the questions that will be addressed by our speakers.


The conference will take place on Thursday 21 September 2017, at 17:00 hours, in the conference centre of the Campus Renaissance (entrance: Rue Hobbema 8, 1000 Brussels). Lecture will be given in in French and in Dutch, with simultaneous translation into English. Parking is available on the Cinquantenaire esplanade in front of the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. We are looking forward to welcoming you and kindly ask you to confirm your participation by registering online.

We will not be able to accept any more registrations due to the big succes of the conference and the maximum capacity of the conference room has been reached.


  • 16:30 Welcome
  • 17:00 Conference and Q & A
  • 18:30-19:30 Reception


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